Australia NSW boy loses fingertips in horseriding accident, creates invention to make sure it never happens again
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Earlier this year 11-year-old Colt Croser was tragically involved in a horseriding accident that saw the tips of his fingers ripped off when they became stuck in his horse's reins.
The boy, from the small rural town of Cobargo in south-east New South Wales, said the horse had been spooked when the accident happened.
"I was about to tie-up [the horse] to the truck and she got spooked and walked away," Colt said.
"My fingers got stuck in the knot and they were pulled off. It was really scary."
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The accident saw Colt undergo full reconstructive surgery in Canberra to reattach his fingertips at the knuckles.
The whole process meant Colt missed the next three months of school.
Accident leads to invention
Colt said his long recovery gave him ample time to think about how the accident could have been avoided.
"That's when I came up with the Rein Angel," he said.
"I thought, 'Well, if I can make a change in the world then I better do it now'."
Colt's Rein Angel invention has been designed to prevent horseriding injuries caused by traditional riding reins; Rein Angel features reins that snap apart when pulled too tightly.
The Year 5 student burst into tears when he heard that his invention had beaten thousands of entries from around the country to win the littleBIGidea inventing competition.
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From tragedy to victory
Colt's mother, Kristen Cowdroy, said she could not be prouder of her son, who she said had already overcome major adversities in his life.
"Colt had to grow up quickly," she said.
"He unfortunately lost his little brother seven years ago. He's seen things that most adults will get through their whole life and won't see.
"Then he faced this accident at the start of the year, so he's had to get over a lot of things. He amazes me."
Ms Cowdroy said she was eager to see her son's invention help people in the horseriding community and prevent further accidents.
"Nearly every second horse person that you talk to is missing a finger, so I think Colt's invention will really work to help people," she said.
"His accident was horrific. It's not something I ever want to see happen again."
Colt's school teacher, Campbell Kerr, said his pupil's invention was the perfect example of a young boy from a small rural community dreaming big.
"I think youth have these amazing ideas," he said.
"As adults we tend to convolute the issues and think 'Well, that's not possible', whereas kids just think, 'I can make this happen'.
"That straight-shooting and very lateral thinking is beautiful — it's hard not to get emotional.
"It's been a tough start to the year and the last few years have been tough for his family in general. We couldn't be prouder."
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